Category Archives: What I’ve Been Reading

The Traveller By Brina Schenk (PG. 1-5)

The Traveller, an illustrated story at Wapiti Music Festivalthetraveller_digital2thetraveller_digital3thetraveller_digital4thetraveller_digital5

to be continued

What I’ve Been Reading : The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Book I've Read - The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksWow. What a book. This one had me from page one. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot tells the story of Henrietta Lacks and the immortal cancer cells that were taken from her body, and how they took over the world.

This book is about much more than just some cells that won’t die. It’s about how the Lack family (a poor, uneducated black family from a tobacco farm) felt when they found out Henrietta’s cells were still alive and making some people very rich.

Ah! But the book is also about who has rights to cells once they’ve been taken from a body, whether that body is dead or alive. It’s a very interesting question that I would never have thought about otherwise. I had a mole removed a few years ago, do I have any rights to that sample once it leaves my body?

The author does an astounding job of showing as many sides of the story as she can. The doctors, the Lacks family and friends, the scientists, the people cured from various diseases thanks to HeLa cells, the journalists and the hospital where Henrietta Lacks went for cancer treatment and died.

Read it. You won’t regret it.

And that’s in my uneducated opinion.

What I Thought Of : A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

A Tale for the Time Being a novel by Ruth OzekiI just finished A Tale for the Time Being this morning. A book I borrowed from a fellow Accidental Book Club member (Thanks, Courtney). It’s been a while since I’ve read something that got me thinking and wondering about quantum physics. Are we living multiple lives right now? We have infinite alternate realities? Could there really be 4 billion moments in every day?

This book started off really slow. A women finds a diary from a girl in Japan along the coast of a remote BC island in a ziplock bag and starts reading it. This woman, let’s call her Ruth because that’s what her name is, starts getting involved in the writer’s life and seems to feel responsible for her. In a strange way, they become friends without knowing each other.

It took me over a month to read this book. It wasn’t until I got to the last 100 pages when I really began wanting to know more and actually caring about what happens. I’m amazed I finished it at all, to tell you the truth. I have other actual book club books I should be reading. But I’m glad I got through it.

Often times I am in a moment in my own life when I know I need to do something but I haven’t and then I read a book that engages my brain and gives it a little kick. I think that’s precisely what happens to Ruth in the book as well.

In the end, I can say I did like it. I liked it a lot. It felt a little like homework at times but in the end I feel fresh and ready…for something.

And that’s in my uneducated opinion.

What I Thought Of : Lost & Found By Brooke Davis

Novel - Lost and Found by Brooke DavisLost & Found by Brooke Davis was picked up at the Fernie Heritage Library because other books I wanted weren’t in…and as I scanned the New Releases section, this one stood out. I was looking for something light and friendly and what I found was something a little twisted and odd. A little girl, around the age of 7, was abandoned at a department store by her mother (that’s incredibly sad!) only to be discovered and helped by a couple of senior citizens.

What I love about this book is how the two elders were written. One was an 82 year old shut in who only left her house after years and years to begrudgingly help the little girl. The other, an 87 year old man who escaped a nursing home to finally begin living. These two were my favorites. They were quirky and lived a life the way they wanted to live it and didn’t care too much about anyone or anything else. Now in their eighties, they have discovered that they aren’t useless and still want adventure in their lives…and can still love, find new friends and be someone you can count on.

I think about my Oma, who is in a nursing home and sits in front of her tv all day and night. She doesn’t do much unless the nurses force her out of her room for some fun (“fun” being playing bingo or doing a puzzle). How excited would I be if I found out my Grandmama has ditched the place and can’t be found? Very excited…although, I hope she brings a sweater.

I enjoyed this book and I’m excited to get old and start a new adventure when I’m in my 80s.

And that’s in my uneducated opinion.

What I Thought Of : Abide With me By Elizabeth Strout

Abide With me - Book I'm Reading - Small Town SocialAbide with Me by Elizabeth Strout was borrowed from the Fernie Heritage Library as a filler because the books I requested  were out. I had typed Elizabeth Strout’s name in my ‘book’ notes on my phone but it wasn’t the exact novel recommended but I thought I’d give this one a try. Abide With Me is mostly about a family, the father being a minister, living in a small town in America and surviving and dealing with loss.

The book doesn’t show much positivity or too much activity either but there is a beautiful look at how a family deals with tragedy – and even the community around them. Strout gives all sorts of perspectives in this town – teachers, patronages, family, friends, house keepers etc. What the people around the family observes and what they expect from them is so harsh. If I ever talk to anyone that is grieving, I hope I am patient, loving and kind and never push them to move on or be happy.

I’m interested in reading another book by Elizabeth Strout – I hear Olive Kitterage is great…but after this book of sadness, I’m not sure I’m ready for it just yet.

And that’s in my uneducated opinion.

What I Thought Of : The Rosie Project By Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion The Rose Project by Graeme Simsion was another Accidental Book Club recommendation and I’m so glad it was because I was able to read it in two days – a personal since I’ve been a mother record. It was such an easy read that I didn’t get too much out of it other than thinking “Wow. This was written to be a movie.” You can almost picture how each scene will be shot, edited and styled and with Jennifer Lawrence being the Rosie of the Project, I couldn’t stop picturing her the whole time I read it. I don’t feel like I need to see the movie anymore – I already saw it. I would say, if you’re looking for a fun book that doesn’t require too much from you, give The Rosie Project a try! I think there’s already another book that follows called The Rosie Effect – so you could get both and smash them in a week. Superb!

And that’s in my uneducated opinion.

What I Thought Of : In The Shadows Of The Mosquito Constellation By Jennifer Ellis

In The Shadows Of The Mosquito Constellation by Jennifer EllisAnother Accidental Book Club suggestion, and the meeting was last night so I can talk about now, In the Shadows of the Mosquito Constellation by Jennifer Ellis.

Oh my goodness! The designers of this book packed as many words into one page as they could, which was probably good because it made the book look less daunting, but it took me forever to finish the book.  It’s a strange thing to love a book and feel like you’re not progressing. But I was interested in the idea behind the book – peak oil has run out and the world has switched to survival mode. The book centers around these people on a remote farm around Vernon, BC and what they do to survive attacks, diseases, find and grow food and also build a new society that is sustainable and good is thrilling. In the middle of it all, people are still trying to figure out regular life problems such as finding love, losing trust, family issues and broken friendships.

The book reminded me so much of The Walking Dead because it is a similar scenario, but in this case the zombies are corrupt and heartless humans. The things that frustrated me were the times when the people on the farm didn’t stand up for themselves – which also exposed a little bit of who I would become if I was in that situation. Rafe would have to go!

The ending was not my favorite but I can see why she wrote it the way she did…I think.

Jennifer Ellis, I hear, self published this book and sadly, because of that, I had decided before I started it that the book wasn’t going to be very good but I was so glad I was wrong and I hope I learned a little lesson on unfounded judgements.

I believe this book is at the Fernie Heritage Library, if you’re interested in reading it.

And that’s in my uneducated opinion.